Practicing the Presence of God has been bringing this strange feeling… i can only describe as sweetness.
When I’m able to connect with God and “find Him” even only momentarily it brings this unbelievable feeling of sweetness.
Once when i was in college during my morning prayer, i can remember this experience. Only once before. If i had to say how long it lasted , i would say maybe 15 mins. That was 12 or more years ago and i remember that “Heavenly Sweetness” as though it were yesterday. At the time , i remember where i was sitting in my college apartment, how i was sitting and i remember telling God…
“So this is why, we only need You.”
I could see a glimpse of what eternity in the Presence of God would feel like.
At the time i also recall thinking , i would never “have to” get married because i don’t “need” anything else or anyone else. God would be sufficient. Whoa. That’s a lot for a few minutes.
As i write this , i don’t think i ever told anyone. Not as a secret, i just never thought i was in a situation that it would benefit to share it, maybe …
Well the crazy thing is , i think that I’ve felt similarly 3-4 times since Practicing the Presence of God. This sweetness in my soul.
Completely different than my normal prayer like experiences which are mostly intellectually directed.
The big difference is , Looking inward to find God instead of upward or outward. I have been turning my gaze inward to make communion with Him. He is there all along i just didn’t know that.
He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows us inside and out. So it’s generated from within us, right?? Not an outside source pushing Himself in….
The practicing His Presence is just uncovering what has always been. Brother Lawrence says his ENTIRE life’s endeavor was practicing the Presence of God. He couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t doing this but i think it’s because we don’t know what we don’t know. I didn’t know i could replicate that feeling all those years ago. I surely didn’t know i could experience it daily or hourly.
This brings up 2 things in my mind , Mary saying…. “My Soul Magnifies the Lord…”
And i keep picturing a magnifying glass against her chest and God being magnified and projected outward….
So in this image , God is within her, deep, “small” and hidden per-say but she can tap into that and it is magnified.
That’s what i think this sweetness is. When i tap into the Presence of God within me (as opposed to this God in the sky looking down) it has this enormous effect that feels to overwhelming perfect and complete.
There is one other story i will leave you with… about 2 years ago i read an article called “Saints are still being Made…” something like that. About this gorgeous couple, the wife’s name is Chiara. Her story is unbelievable.
When she was dying, her husband ask her
“But Chiara, my love, is this cross really sweet, like the Lord says? She looked at me and she smiled, and in a soft voice she said, ‘Yes, Enrico, it is very sweet.’”
It always struck me. Sweet…. what a beautiful, bizarre way to describe a feeling. I think she was in the Presence of God. I think that’s what this book is teaching us.
Sweetness. Try today to slow down, tell God What is happening, casually as it’s happening. Close your eyes for a moment and feel His Presence from inwardly. This is while you are driving, or cooking or fighting with your child. Anytime.